LUL – HOT Procedure

Our Ref: HSR/2/16
Head Office Circular: NP/111/17
 17th July 2017

The Secretary

Dear Colleague

LUL – HOT Procedure

Our representatives on LUL have been raising our members’ concerns over the suitability of and individual employees’ understanding, of the company’s security arrangements following the incident at North Greenwich in October 2016 and more recent high-profile tragedies. Our Regional Organiser was not satisfied with the company’s response to our concerns and the matter was placed in front of the National Executive Committee (NEC). On 11th July 2017 the NEC adopted the following resolution:

We note the report from the Lead Officer; and following failed talks with London Underground Management and the significant security situation on Tube network and the strength of concern expressed by our affected Members and their Reps we instruct the General Secretary by the end of this week to:

• Write to all members advising them that we are strongly opposed to LU's insistence, contained in the new HOT Process, compelling our members to look inside unattended items. Also to give guidance to our members on what to do when dealing with such packages.

• Seek a face to face meeting with the Mayor to advise him of this issue and to make him clear about our position; and that safety critical training designed to assist our members when dealing with 'active shooter' and 'bladed weapon'.

• Contact the DfT to verify statements by LU that these changes are driven by them. We do not believe this to be the case and need the issue clarified.

All members to be advised by email and text.

All relevant Branches and the London Transport Regional Council to be advised.

Following on from this Decision further information was received and the matter was once again considered by the NEC. On 13th July 2017 the NEC adopted the following resolution:

Further to our decision NWW 11.7.17, and upon further examination; we consider it important to note that there has been no changes to Government guidance around HOT procedures, and instructing staff to open or tamper with suspicious packages is contrary to current guidance and may put staff and the travelling public in serious and imminent danger.

The current guidance advises that if, after following the HOT protocol a member of staff considers an object to be suspect, they should take the following actions in this order:

(1) clear the immediate area and
(2) inform your supervisor/control.

So the decision is clearly with the frontline staff on the spot and not with the manager or supervisor.

Accordingly, any member compelled in a contrary manner by management to open or tamper with a package they consider suspicious may wish to refuse to do so on the grounds of health & safety; and this union will provide them with its full and ongoing support.

We also note to that the DfT has NOT driven or endorsed London Undergrounds revised HOT procedure as the company have falsely claimed.

Due to the severe danger of the companies revised HOT procedure and rash approach to consultation with this union on this matter, we instruct the General Secretary to raise this with the London Mayor with utmost vigour and a campaign involving briefing the press and London MP’s.

We also note the failure of the company due to financial constraints to address the worsening situation of lack of train cab security needs to be raised also with the London Mayor.

All members to be advised by email and text.

All relevant Branches and the London Transport Regional Council to be advised.

I am acting in accordance with this instruction. An RMT guide to the HOT procedure is under production and will be distributed shortly. In the meantime, RMT’s pamphlet on ‘serious and imminent danger’ is available to download from the RMT website at:

Please bring the contents of this circular to the attention of relevant members.

Yours sincerely
Mick Cash
General Secretary